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A man from the St. Cloud area has admitted to making "ghost guns" and selling them to an undercover informant.

Jay J. Olson of Sauk Rapids pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court in St. Paul to manufacturing firearms without a license since the fall of 2021, U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger said.

Olson remains in federal custody in the Sherburne County jail and awaits sentencing, which has yet to be scheduled.

Jay Olson
Jay Olson

Sherburne County jail

According to court documents:

This spring, Olson offered to sell firearms with no serial number, commonly referred to as "ghost guns," and various firearms-related accessories, including a silencer and high-capacity magazines, for $20,000.

Unbeknownst to Olson, the buyer was working with law enforcement as a confidential source. During their conversations, Olson told the source that the price for each firearm would be increasing because of the federal government's recent initiative targeting ghost guns.

On April 26 at a residence in Waite Park, Olson sold the source 16 ghost guns, nine high-capacity magazines, a firearms silencer and other firearms accessories.

Law enforcement arrested Olson and recovered from the residence firearm assembly kits, multiple miscellaneous firearms parts and accessories.

On May 4, investigators searched Olson's Sauk Rapids home and recovered from the basement manufacturing tools, various firearm assembly kits and a Glock firearm assembly diagram.

One day before Olson's home was searched, Luger referenced the case during a news conference where he pledged to devote the "entire weight" of his office to punishing violent criminals, part of an aggressive strategy he said was necessary to curb a surge in carjackings, shootings and gang activity.

"We're hoping that this warning and this activity causes people to stop," Luger said. "Up until now, the federal government hasn't weighed in fully, hasn't weighed in at the level we are now."